A new year

Happy New Year - and may it fulfill all the hopes it holds

As a new year descends on me yet again I look back and can't believe 12 months have slipped by and I have barely marked their coming and going.

Choose your attitude

Awesome things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow

I've always been in awe of the "Little Miss Sunshine"s of the world. Some people progress through life easily with great things happening regularly with life's road being a smooth and trouble free journey. I can understand how these people are able to be happy all the time, but there are also people who manage to have a smile for the world despite their life's ups and downs.

Life regularly has moments that suck - work starts off fine and then disgruntled people get in your face, you go shopping and can't find an outfit that remotely suits your age or stage, you feel grumpy, you look frumpy, people ignore you, someone pushes in front of you and so it goes on. Our life's little dramas interrupt how we think things should be and we react accordingly.

The joys of facebook

Maybe Facebook seems slow because I have everyone blocked?

I am a big fan of facebook. I love catching up on people's news and re-connecting with old friends from school, or youth group or work. I think facebook has a different feel to it for my generation. We use it to share our highlights - children's weddings, Christmas get-togethers, new grandchildren etc.

Facebook for the younger generations is all about "me, me, me" and the minuatae of their lives. I like being friends with this generation but I have "unfollowed" so many of them because I get so tired of seeing what Lord of the Rings character they are, or what colour they like, or what their precious little child is doing on a daily (or even hourly) basis. So my facebook news feed looks pretty lean at times, but what can I expect when I am so uninterested in the triviality of people's lives? 

I've never met a potato I didn't like

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill

Everyone has an Archilles heel and mine is the love of chips. I LOOOOOVE chips! I could go to AA and confess to my inability to resist their salty, fatty goodness. But I wouldn't give them up.

Some people have a chocolate addiction, or a coffee addiction or some other gourmet habit but I am unapologetically addicted to potatoes. I will eat them as fries, as wedges, as potato chips, as potato fritters, mashed, baked, you name it I love them.

A taste of Mid-life Depression

Dealing with the curve balls life sends your way -Delicious Ambiguity  ~ Gilda Radner

Last year parts of my life imploded before my eyes. My husband, who I had been supporting financially since his redundancy 3yrs before, decided he didn't want to be married any more and I was looking down the barrel of starting life over again with just my cat and a part time job. The scary thing is that there were parts of that scenario that were strangely appealing.

I read an article recently by Anna Moore that said "if you're fed up with family and work and feel it's time for an overhaul, you could be experiencing mid-life depression. But be careful what you wish for."

#3 Expectation: Health and Happiness

Marianne Williamson — 'Until we have seen someone's darkness, we don't really know who they are.

I’ve always been a healthy person – fairly robust and not prone to illness in general. I expected that this was the same for everyone and had never heard of the term “depression” until it took a swipe at my family. Pre-Google “depression” was what people got when someone died. I have subsequently found out it is also what people get when their family has a predisposition towards Seratonin deficiency.

My husband’s family turns out to be one of the many who have a history (back to at least his grandparents) of chronic depression.

#2 Expectation: A Nine to Five Husband

unmet expectations - the 9 - 5 husband

Somewhere in my upbringing and also from what I’ve observed in general around me, I expected I would have a husband who worked nine to five and stayed in the same job through several sets of long service leave.

I somehow managed to meet, fall in love with, and marry a man who is far away from this “ideal”. He is creative and introverted – good at marketing and advertising, not so good at staying in a job that doesn’t engage him. I should have twigged to what I was in for when he told me that he’d had 17 jobs in his life prior to the one he was in now (I just thought he was working his way up the ladder). The fact that these jobs were diverse and unrelated should have been a clue too.

#1 Expectation: The Perfect Family

Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her

My first expectation relates to family – I have this absurd notion (that my family refers to as my “Brady Bunch Mentality”) that families want to spend time together sharing happily in each others’ lives - because they have been parented that way.

No-one told me that my two children would be polar opposites and have very little in common. I didn’t consider the fact that my independent and introverted son would not want to share the minuatae of his teenage and adult life with his mother (even though I was interested in what he was doing), or that my daughter would swap her closeness to me with a closeness to her husband (couldn’t we share her?).

Expectations - the underminers of happiness

When you release expectations, you are free to enjoy things for what they are instead of what you think they should be. -Mandy Hale

I have come to realize that my whole world view is based on my expectations of what life should be and how people should behave. This can lead nowhere except to disappointment because I cannot force life or people into the mold I want.

So I have decided to put up a few of my areas of expectations and consider them and see where I can move forward - the next few posts will cover a few of my favourite things - well my favourite areas of huge and probably fairly unrealistic expectations......including family, husbands, health - and maybe a few more (I've already dealt with my friendship issues!)

my life as an AntiCraft


midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
The dreaded padded tissue box holder
As a good Christian woman it is an embarrassment to admit that I loathe any type of craft. I can admire the dexterity and "creativity" of those who immerse themselves in the latest crafting fad, but I just cannot get inspired by padded tissue boxes or scrap booking or quilting or any of the myriad of other activities that others thrive on.

Et Tu Brute?? and other "friendly" acts

Et Tu Brute" when it comes to back-stabbing and other "friendly" acts

Where do friends get off doing stuff to you that you would never do to them? Case in point is a "friend" of ours for the last 30 years or more has just casually mentioned that she has been given my husband's job. He is in marketing and advertising and she is a first grade teacher in the school where he was working.

A very Brady Christmas......or not

what you resort to when you can't have a Very Brady Christmas

I seem to have fallen down the rabbit hole of Brady expectations all my life. It particularly manifests around the Christmas season and it brings with it a plethora of feelings of not having achieved the perfect parenting ideal.

totally addicted to Pinterest

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill

How did this happen? I've become addicted to Pinterest! What started out as somewhere to collect a few apt quotes has taken over part of my life.

I know people who use Pinterest as a place to plan their weddings or compile their catering recipes. Others who have Boards dedicated to outfits they'd look great in or things they want to decorate their houses with eventually. But as for me, it is just somewhere I can put my thoughts and a whole heap of pretty pictures and look at them without them clogging up my computer. There is really no rhyme or reason in what I pin - I just love that it is positive and pretty and I learn something new occasionally too.

just desserts?

just because you have, doesn't mean you deserve it - good things can happen to not so good people.

Something I've been pondering a lot lately is why some people have everything fall into their lap and others struggle time after time. I had an assumption in the back of my mind that you get what you deserve and I believe this is called "linear thinking" - basically that a + b = c. As life goes on I'm finding that logical thinking does not apply to all of life's circumstances.

A LITTLE MORE ABOUT ME

midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
Me with my lovely husband, Ross
Hi! I'm Leanne and I live in the lovely southwest of Western Australia. I blog about Midlife, marriage, family, the empty nest, and anything that catches my attention - there's a lot of interesting stuff out there to talk about! I love being part of an online community of women celebrating this stage of life - I get to share my thoughts and life experiences with people all over the world (amazing!)

This is a stage of life where our children are independent adults who are thriving in their own lives. Our parents are older and approaching elderly but are still self-sufficient enough to get by with only a small amount of input from us. We have reached a point where we are financially stable and although we don't have piles of money to spare, we are living our lives comfortably and can afford to work less because we spend less. (Retirement is far enough away that I'll worry about it more when it gets closer to reality.)

Speaking of working less, I currently work 3 days a week in the office of a General Surgeon at our local hospital. I also do some volunteer work at a nearby primary school, and spend the rest of my time blogging, drinking coffee with friends, and generally chilling out. 

Family-wise, I have a lovely husband named Ross who is a family counsellor. We have been married for 34 years and through many ups and downs and in-betweens we are still going strong.

We have two adult 'children' - Jared who is 31 and married to Hannah, and Erin who is 28 and married to Luke. They both moved to the city to go to university and settled there in great jobs, met their spouses and are happy living in the big smoke and making occasional trips back to check we're still alive.

Last year Jared and Hannah had a delightful little girl named Sophia, so I am officially a Nan and also officially in love with that child. The joy of grandchildren was a complete surprise for me - it just keeps getting better as she gets older.


midlife blog ~ cresting the hill
                       Jared and Hannah                                   Erin and Luke                       
Sophia
I love meeting the people who read my blog so please share your thoughts in the comments section on any of my posts - I really enjoy hearing what people think and appreciate you taking the time to chat. I also have a Facebook page and I'm an avid Pinner and would love to have you follow me there too.

Beginning in the middle

“Just let go. Let go of how you thought your life should be, and embrace the life that is trying to work its way into your consciousness.” Caroline Myss

I've often thought about blogging but never felt brave enough to give it a shot. Now seems to be as good a time as any - midway through life with lots to look back on and learn from, and lots to look forward to and share as it comes. Midlife is not as bad as it has been made out to be and I thought "cresting the hill" summed it up because I'm not over the hill yet, I've just reached the top and the view is proving to be an eye opener to me as I take the time to stop and look around.

I've reached a point in my life where a lot of my assumptions and expectations are being tested and I want to bring them to light and decide if they are valid or just something I've picked up through being exposed to our first world culture. There are so many concepts I've collected along the way - from my parents, from marriage, from my children, from my friends, from church, from work and from life experience and I don't think they are all as relevant and true to life as I have assumed.

A previous boss of mine used to say "assume nothing Leanne" and (although he was an old curmudgeon) it is a pertinent point. So this will be a safe place to examine some of those things, to share thoughts that I find online and maybe to share a little bit of my actual life if it is relevant.

So here goes.......